If you’ve been following along you’ll know all about the Handmade Experiment and how back in January I committed myself to making all the gifts I give this year. So far this has involved some baking and woodworking and a LOT of sewing. I had done a bit of sewing before – some pillows and the lining for a crocheted bag I made for a friend, but nothing like what I’ve done this year – tote bags, kid’s clothes, costumes, and even some plushies.
My hubs says he’s really proud of me. I’m proud of me, too! Sewing and creating for myself and friends and family is something that I’ve always wished I could do. I thought it would be so hard, but its not. My best piece of advice: start out simple. Sure you want to made retro swing dresses that fit you perfectly, but why not start with a cute tote or wrap skirt? One success will give you the confidence to move on the the next project and the next. Before you know it, your friends will be asking you to sew stuff for them!
For those who are letting their lack of a machine get in the way, check out your local fabric stores and crafty shops. You might find that there are sewing machines you can rent or a space you can go to work on your project. If you live in Portland or the surrounding area, check out DIY Alert! for a map of crafty spots around town and lists of classes.
Okay, so you might have picked up I’m big on promoting handmade. To prove I’m not all talk and to be a part of the May Giveaway Day spectacular that Sew, Mama, Sew! is throwing, The Handmade Experiment is reaching out to those sewing beginners and wish-I-coulders with an awesome sewing supplies giveaway from two great Portland designers!
First you’ll need a project! How about a super cute bag or wallet? Perfect for beginners, Michelle’s Keyka Lou patterns are made to be sewn in 1 to 3 hours. Her patterns are short PDFs (6 – 13 pages), and are written with concise, clear instructions so that sewing can be fun instead of frustrating. If you ever do have any questions, her blog will probably have the answers. Plus she offers help through email and etsy.com conversations.
Once you’ve got the pattern down, you can even sell products using the pattern! This isn’t industry standard (most patterns are for personal use only!), but all Michelle asks is that you let it be known you used a Keyka Lou pattern for your wonderful handmade item. Starting to feel like you can do this, yet?
Next you’ll need some fabric. Lizzy House‘s Red Letter Day collection is bordering on insanely cute. I just made PZ some shorts out of her Ducks in a Row Galosh fabric. Look for it at your local fabric store and if they don’t have it, ask them to get it! You could also check it out at one of these online fabric shops – Sew, Mama, Sew!, eQuilter, or A Fabric Outlet. If you’re in Portland, our own Cool Cottons has it!
(from the pic top to bottom)
Ducks in a Row
Walk in the Woods
and the color ways:
What You Win
1 Keyka Lou pattern (she has a section of her shop called beginner patterns, but the winner can choose any pattern they want)
2 yards of Lizzy House fabric from her ‘Red Letter Day’ collection. 1 yard of two different patterns. I’m still communicating with Lizzy on which ones we’ll have.
How To Win
Leave a comment. Nothing complicated about that! Winner will be chosen at random using Random.org.
Not a beginner, but you’d still like a chance to win? Tell us about your first sewing project or about what motivates your sewing. I love pictures!
Want additional chances to win? Tweet about the giveaway, subscribe to the blog or let me know you’re already a subscriber, post about it on Facebook or one of the other social networking sites, make a link back from your own blog – in other words help spread the news! For each bit of promotion you do, tell me about it in a separate comment.
Comments close on May 31st, midnight PST and the winner will be announced on Monday, June 1st. I’ll ship internationally, so everybody join in on the fun! Don’t forget to leave me some way of getting a hold of you! Get sewing!!
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